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I recently saw Union Bound and was pleasantly surprised. Great story. Pam & Bill Jay (descendents of Joseph Hoover who kept the diary the film is based pm), I can see why you are happy about the movie. All of the actors were very good and the wardrobe authentic. The first thing I noticed was the cinematography and the attention to detail. The next thing I noticed was the soundtrack. Not overpowering but just right to convey the emotion of each particular scene. Kudos to everyone who worked on this movie. Also, hats off to the editing department.

This movie is a drama that shows us a slice of what the Civil War was like. From the viewpoint of a captured Union Soldier. Although it does have some Civil War battle scenes it is not a film about the large scale conflicts, but more of the personal ones. To my relief there is not  a blockbuster action scene around each corner. If this interests you so far then Union Bound is the movie for you to see.


Harvey Lowry2.jpgThe director of Union Bound, Harvey Lowry, is an active man who's years of work in the film industry betray his youthful appearance. I found that we share a common love for the outdoors and backpacking. Harvey revealed to me he was planning an ascent of Mt. McKinley. Being at home in the outdoors must have come in handy during the making of this movie as only one day was spent on a soundstage. The rest were outside, mostly around Stagville Plantation in the heat of the North Carolina summer with the ticks, flies, and other wildlife.

It was even worse for the actors as they had on layered wool and cotton clothing. At least one crew member had to go to the hospital after collapsing on set.

That's the price you pay when you have a good story to tell. Union Bound is one of them.  The movie got its start from diaries kept by Joseph Hoover during the Civil War. Pam Jay, a descendant of Joseph approached Michael Davis, the producer of Union Bound, with the diaries. Her husband Bill had painstakingly transcribed them so they could easily be read. After looking over them Michael knew this was a story he wanted to tell so he contacted John Errington to write the screenplay and Harvey to direct. The rest, as they say, is history.

I wanted to know more about how Harvey got involved. Here is what told me. "When considering a film to direct, I consider a number of things. First, everything starts with a good script. When I read the Union Bound script, I was really impressed with the story, the characters, the dialogue and the fact that it was all a true story. John did a wonderful job in writing the script.

The second thing to consider is the team. When I was first introduced to Michael, the producer, we hit it off pretty well. He's a great guy who was passionate about the project and I felt it in his pitch. It was an easy decision to collaborate with him.

Other points to consider include: Is this a film I would want to see? Is this a project I would be proud of? Is this a film in line with my moral beliefs? There are a multitude of things to consider, and I was very excited that Union Bound was an easy decision across the board."


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"A 1962 play by Edward Albee. It examines the breakdown of the marriage of a middle-aged couple, Martha and George. Late one evening, after a university faculty party, they receive an unwitting younger couple, Nick and Honey, as guests, and draw them into their bitter and frustrated relationship. "


Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
April 13th thru May 1st 
Wednesday thru Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm
North Carolina Stage Company
15 Stage Lane
Asheville, North Carolina


   
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Here's a young lady I hope and think we'll be seeing a lot more of. Bev Tan has her feet wet in both the commerce and art sides of filmmaking.  By day, a mild mannered member of a social marketing team. By night a creative filmmaker willing to take on the social issues of the day.

Born in New York City eventually ending up in North Carolina and going to high school in Holly Springs. Bev made up her mind very early what she wanted to do in life. "I decided I wanted to be a filmmaker when I was 7 years old." To fulfill that desire she eventually ended up at Western Carolina University. "I went to film school at Western Carolina University and worked as a photographer and freelance writer as well during that. I also minored in poetry. I have always been in love with filmmaking but I did change my concentration 5 times, beginning and ending with producing."
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Tonight, and continuing through April 24th, Cape Fear Regional Theatre presents Arsenic and Old Lace.  

"Mortimer Brewster, is a drama critic who must deal with his crazy, homicidal family and local police in Brooklyn, NY, as he debates whether to go through with his recent promise to marry the woman he loves."

Arsenic and Old Lace
April 7th - April 24th
Cape Fear Regional Theatre
1209 Hay Street
Fayetteville, North Carolina


   

Featured Music Video

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Ringfinger is a comedy about a reluctant, but soon to be bride that is on a mission to find the wedding rings her brother lost the night before the wedding. What else could go wrong? I have a feeling "a lot."

The brainchild of Derek Tilton and Bryant Zambrano who have a certain rare sense of humor. If you don't believe me then take a look at their series The Affordable Eight.  There are eight 1-2 minute slices of life that focus on the travails of one character "Dude" played by Bryant. Be sure to check out Warm Milk. I think we can all identify with that one.

The film is currently in pre-production and will be shot in the wonderful countryside of Asheville, North Carolina. Some of the actors you'll be seeing will be Keenan Edge as Luke, Morgan Peterson as Audrey, Bryant Zambrano as Carlos, Megan Waller as Lydia and Jake Whaley as Sam.





English: Wynton Marsalis at the Oskar Schindle...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wynton Marsalis with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performing the music of some of the great jazz performers and composers like Duke Ellington and George Gershwin.

Presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016
Music of the Masters: Duke Ellington and George Gershwin
Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts
430 South Tryon Street
Charlotte, North Carolina



   
Jaysen Buterin.jpgPremiering this week at the Mysticon Independent Film Festival is Don't Let The Light In  by Jaysen P. Buterin.


Having been a filmmaker for going on 10 years now. Jaysen has written 20 screenplays and directed many of them.  He is also an actor who works with some  of the top producers and directors in the southeast.


The first thing you notice about Jaysen is that he is an eloquent conversationalist.The next  thing that became evident when asking about the movies he watched as a kid,  is that he  loves horror. Raised on the classics by his dad. I'm sure he will pass it on to his own son, and to us, through his filmmaking.


Don't Let The Light In is a good example. A tale of a young boy and his babysitter. As we are getting to know Sarah and Jack, the boy nonchalantly mentions that he has monsters in his room. Sarah patronizes the child  but is surprised at what she discovers.



Potpourri

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Map of South Carolina highlighting York County

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Effort is underway to create a first class movie studio on 124 acres of land at the Catawba Indian Nation near Rock Hill, South Carolina. $485,000 has been spent on the study so for the project that is expected to cost $45 million. The study will be completed this spring and if all goes as planned the first phase, sound stages and visitors center, could be completed within a year.

Plans  include production suites, an iMax style theater, a film school, and  a music school. Studio South and Pacific Ventures will develop, build and manage the complex.

Maid to Order - Pilot

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Here is the pilot for Maid to Order a new series by Katie Carpenter and Going Cheek Productions.

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As a struggling actress, Margot (Katie) and her friend June (Kendra Staub) come up with a plan to help make ends meet between acting assignments. It has the feel of popular shows like Portlandia and Broad City.  Looking forward to seeing the series.




Katie Carpenter - Maid to Order

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Photo Credit: Marie Thomas
Katie Carpenter is an actress I first heard about when she was filming Fix It In Post as Lexy. A zombie comedy where Katie plays a featherbrained young actor. The director, Christine Parker, was proud to have Katie as one of the stars saying "She was a natural as the ditzy self absorbed actress in Fix It In Post. No one could have played that part as well." Brett Mullen was one of the cinematographers on that movie and is currently collaborating with Katie on her latest creation Maid To Order.

Maid To Order is a webseries created by and starring Katie as a struggling young actress (see the parallel?) that has resorted to running a fetish cleaning business to make ends meet. Her customers begin to asked for very strange things by her clients. The dilemma...how to keep her dignity and continue on her path as an actress. 



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Kimberly Dawn in A Father's Love

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Kimberly Dawn (also known as Kimberly Hester Huffstetler) is an actor from Gastonia, North Carolina who has been in the business for about two years. In that short amount of time she has been a part of many productions, both big and small , working on some 60 sets here in the southeast.

One of those movies is Darren Conrad's A Father's Love which is currently in production. Here's what Darren had to say about her.

"Kimberly Dawn and I have been good friends for several years!  She has always been so kind and supportive of my work as an actor and filmmaker.  As Kim became interested in the craft of acting, I started noticing her work and how professional she comes across both promoting herself and others.  After Kim worked with me as Featured Background on The Kill Switch and Partners, I felt it was time to see her in action as a Principal Character.  When I started writing A Father's Love, something about the way she speaks and the way she looks became my vision for 'Nurse Millie'.  In shooting her scenes on Sunday, November 8, 2015, Kimberly showed me she can hold her own.  She is very natural, organic, and soft spoken.  She definitely has a 'Niche'.  I was so proud of her on this film and will definitely consider her for other projects I write in my future.  She is a very sweet, compassionate, and caring woman.  'A GREAT FRIEND and HARD WORKER!'"

I had a chance to speak with Kimberly this past fall to learn more about what she is doing. See the interview below to learn more about her and some of the movies she's participated in and the directors she has worked with.

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LaShawn Woolridge, who performs under the name "Poe Anonymous", is a writer, actor, songstress, and poet who has just graduated from Winthrop University. While there, in addition to her work in theatre, she founded the organization Winthrop Def Poets Society.

Def Poets Society, a community for students that are passionate about the spoken word, held a college tour this year called Souls n Substance with events at the University of South Carolina and Clemson University, as well as Winthrop University.

Poe Anonymous will be performing as the featured artist in the Charlotte, North Carolina area over the next few weeks at these locations:


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"The biggest thing I found at Cannes Film Festival is that every single teeny tiny moment is potentially a big moment of networking."


Kira never ceases to amaze me with her enthusiasm and ability to be at the right place at the right time. Her next project, Big Little Filmmaker (due to launch on the 1st of November), is a website and company devoted to young filmmakers and film festivals for students as well as job opportunities for young filmmaking talent and crews.

We wish her the best with her new venture and hope she still has the time to continue making the creative films she's best known for.

Read our latest interview with Kira and if you're between the ages of 12 and 22 go to the link below and add you name and email address to be notified of the launch and other activities.

 

 

Kelly Cheats

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Photo credit: Trevor Mercer

















Kelly cheats, or so I'm told.

Seriously, the Kelly Cheats band got their name from an incident at a poker game. I'm sure it serves them well as it's both intriguing and easy for the audience to remember. So they can be sure to come back to see the band the next time they're in town.

There's no cheating when it comes to their sound. A well seasoned group of musicians that like to have fun. Currently finishing up the final touches of their second, soon to be released, album Out of the Patch. 

Always ready to tour the southeast they will be appearing this weekend at Ri Ra Irish Pub in Charlotte, North Carolina (Friday, October 23rd) with their blend of rock, reggae, pop, and blues.


Rhymefest in Manchester, on tour with Kanye West

Rhymefest i(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this article by Marlow Stern the award winning songwriter for Kanye West and John Legend talks about the Academy Awards, songwriting, and his new documentary In My Father's House.

"My ASCAP royalty checks went from a lot to almost nothing."



Photos from the PJ Brunson Gala

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A night honoring PJ Brunson.  PJ has been nominated for Best Folk Album of the Year at the IMEA Awards.

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PJ Brunson